Mouse by Forrest
In the unlit basement I once entered only once, I had heard and seen nothing and was expected to hear and see nothing, the whole venture planned carefully, the way they were working starting at the end, the way people are forever fixated on outcomes in general or my own, specifically, not where we would like to begin, I hear, perhaps behind me, likely off to the side I search in the dark, but we have all the time, moving backwards, just out of what my sight makes out, when someone turns on the light fixture dangling languidly so that the only surprise is to hear or see anything that instant, and not to expect to hear or see it moving, a few gigglings starting in my presence, these letting me think I wouldn't have lasted this far even if I reminded them we were working towards the beginning where all the characters are introduced, where we know the action and setting take place, where we learn about what happens when disturbing a snake's hunger: timidity.
Lunchish by Lyle
It was not supposed to go this way. But it never was. Or is. Either. Both. But then that's neither here nor there. This is the infinity. This was the infinity. Not that not wanting to do it this way means anything one way or another. Just that the desire itself existed outside of this infinity, which was obviously trouble. But there was nothing to do about that. Because trouble, too, was outside of that infinity, like a speck of dirt on a lens or an errant pen mark on a math test. Did that mean something? Or was it a self-inclusive bracket? Meaning it meant everything and then nothing also. And included itself in its own digestive tract. The answer is always so close like the swelling of a brain. And then. Gone.
The Serpent Is Not Eating Its Tail by Alan
All that is wrong with history is alive and well in Las Vegas was what a wise man said to me once a long time ago. There is a lot of talk about a kind of meta-implosion in modern society…like we’ve gone so far in, we’re out, man. Way out. But the truth is it’s still like the Romans and before the Romans. “A place of darkness,” Conrad called it. The rules that govern our behavior are worse than the pilgrims and their little squirts into the continent and its pulsing heart. The serpent that eats its tail is not aware that the meal it is having is its, most likely, final one. There is a certain naiveté that is passable, affectionate, sweet almost. We forgive the oversight to a certain extent, enough to peer into the later realization as revelatory manifesto or starry doctrine of almost zen. But this serpent is not eating its tail. This serpent goes for the head, which is to say the core of our sanity. This serpent has purpose, a cause. Direction! Hisses “horror, horror” while it swallows us whole face first.
Snake Dreams by Johanna
In my dream, I told myself, “Remember this,” the rattlesnake that took a bite from my left shoulder, how I barely noticed, how it didn't hurt a bit. And I remembered even as the sound of yelling children awoke me, even though I had no time to write it down.
Later, I looked up meanings in my Dream Dictionary:
- A warning about a situation that is poisonous in your life.
- Your inability to make choices.
- Sign of being on the verge of personal transformation.
Nothing seemed to apply to me.
All day I saw snakes - sticks in the garden, cords lining the wall, vines twisting through holes in the fence.
When the children came inside from their play, hissing in whispers, they encircled my feet until I buckled to the floor. The oldest peered down at me with yellow eyes. “Mom?” he said.
I locked myself in the bathroom, though I knew it was useless; they always found me. I turned on the hot water, filling the room with steam, and waited.